When and how to use Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights effectively and judiciously
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights are all instruments or tools which are most expedient for certain areas due to their own strengths and weaknesses. What you should know about Intellectual Property is the fact that the three main areas do overlap and they are more useful in some situations rather than others.
In terms of teeth, Patent Law is the strongest dog of them all. Unlike trademarks and copyrights, patent law is not encumbered with certain fair use standards. Patent Law is basically a strict liability standard. Infringement is not concerned with whether someone had knowledge or specific intent to infringe the claims. The only thing a judge will worry about is whether the claims were infringed or not.
Patent Law also shows strong teeth when it comes to reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is when someone re-creates the same result with different means of doing so. Patent law can protect reverse engineering in the sense that if the claims of the patent are drafted properly with broad scope, then competitors will not be able to reverse engineer that product without adopting an inferior product as written in https://www.tekrevue.com/inventhelp-tech-invention-off-the-ground/ article.
On balance, there are two main drawbacks with patent law and they both relate with time. Typically, the patent registration process takes years and it is always advisable to hire invention help professionals to help you out. And compared with Trademarks and copyrights, their term is relatively short: 14 years for designs and 20 years for utility.
When it comes to duration of protection, Trademark Law is tops. Theoretically, trademark rights may continue forever provided that the mark is used properly and is used consistently. There is a German beer maker, for instance, which claims its mark is roughly 626 years old. However, as with Copyrights, Trademarks are weakened with respect to fair use exceptions. And, in the event a trademark is inherently weak, other competing marks may come fairly close to that mark.
As with Trademark Law, Copyright terms are long since the begin from the time of creation plus the life of the author, plus an additional 70 years after the death of that author. Unfortunately, the Achilles heel of Copyright protection is the ability to reverse engineer source code or object code. It should also be pointed out that Copyright Law protects the expression ideas rather than the underlying ideas themselves.